After our breakfast we will visit the food market "San Pedro.” This is where the local people make purchases of all types of products for the preparation of their daily meals. Vegetables, potatoes, fruits, meats, spices, cereals, and breads among others. You can also buy a variety of local food and observe how the locals live their daily lives. Then, we will drive to the ancient temple of the sun ”Koricancha.” Here, you will observe detailed architecture all intact within the temple. You will see smaller temples dedicated to the moon, rainbows, stars, lightning and thunder, among others. The Santo Domingo church stands on top of the temple. You will then walk around the traditional streets where every one of them has something to tell and many mysteries (myths, legends, stories, etc) in the city and stop by Aqllaywasi, the chosen virgins of the sun, which is now the Santa Catalina convent. The stone of 12 angles currently used as a museum remains intact, this street is a sample of great architectural dominance over stones, then we will visit the home of great artisans since Inca times to the present day with long traditions in textiles, ceramics, metallurgy and others. Finally, we will end our visit in one of the picanterías (a traditional lunchtime restaurant).
Sacsayhuaman visit - Tambomachay - Pisac Market - Ollantaytambo - night at Aguas Calientes
After learning about the city and its customs, we will visit the most renowned architectural evidence of the Incas: Sacsayhuamán. Although the site was religious, the Spanish considered it a military fortress because of its location and the way it was built. Because of the architectural characteristics and because of the size of its stones, many larger than 33 feet and heavier than 150 tons, and because of the stories that the gates and towers tell, the Spanish described the site as a fortress. At Sacsayhuamán, people celebrate Inti Raymi (celebration of the sun) each year on June 24th. You will also see Tambomachay, known as the temple of water, where the Incas practiced religious traditions tied to water to rejuvenate the land. This tradition is known as the fountain of eternal youth. After visiting these sites and learning about these traditions, you will return to the city. Then we will continue to the Sacred Valley visiting craft markets. The scenery is picturesque as we will be surrounded by Andean mountains and valleys to reach the Inca city of Pisac hidden in a mountain like the guard of the Sacred Valley, where you will be able to appreciate the irrigation system, astronomical observatory, religious temples and residences. Afterwards, we will visit Ollantaytambo, another Inca city with many historical relics, architectural, and jealously guarding the living culture of the Andes. In the afternoon we take the train to Aguas Calientes where we will stay overnight.
Machu Picchu Visit
We will wake up early in the morning and following breakfast we will visit the gorgeous lost city of the Incas, which delights us with the wonderful views of its landscapes and ruins. We will take the first bus to Machu Picchu and be one of the first visitors. Up in the citadel the guided tour is 3 hours long. After the guided tour, you will have free time to explore the citadel on your own. The buses from Machu Picchu down to Aguas Calientes leave every 30 min, and the last bus down to Aguas Calientes is at 5pm. After the visit to Machu Picchu you will return to Aguas Calientes to have lunch before taking the train back to Cusco.